As business leaders, we continuously search for ways to engage our employees.
Gone are the days when annual performance reviews, recognition events, and holiday cards were enough to motivate and engage our employees. All employees (not just the Millennials) are yearning for ways to feel more connected to their organization and its core values. Programs that aid employees to exhibit behaviors that the company has identified as performance goals are an important part of engagement. But employees need more than just accomplishing goals.
Employees seek meaningful accomplishments and clear achievements that they don’t get from everyday life.
Gamification refers to the process of enhancing or further “activating” an existing experience through the use of motivational techniques found in video games. This process is strengthened by leveraging the data gained from users as they interact with the system. (Enterprise Engagement, The Textbook).
Gamification is not meant to entertain employees or trick them into completing a task, turn up on a leaderboard, or to get the most badges. The goal is to provide them with an opportunity to reach meaningful accomplishments of which they seek. TweetThis!
When gamification is part of an engagement strategy, employees are more inclined to:
- collaborate with their peers
- share information, stories and successes
- be more present in their daily tasks
Those are the engagement KPI's that have a long-lasting, positive effect on the company’s bottom line.
Gamification Provides Engagement Proof
As with any business initiative, there has to be a clear ROI to get buy-in from senior management. Implementing a gamification program not only provides qualitative data but also provides behavioral data.
Surveys and sales data show qualitative data. Behavioral data is shown by how many times they logged on, where they spent the most time and how long they stayed engaged in the program.
Hit Start On Gamification
In 2012, Gartner did a study on gamification. It predicted that by 2014, 80 percent of all programs will fail to meet business objectives because of poor planning. Soon it will be 2016, so if you have not already implemented a gamification strategy in your organization, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Strategize around corporate initiatives. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, your current corporate initiatives are eligible for gamification. Determine where you are and where you want your company to be, then let your gamification strategy support your current strategy.
2. Formulate a business plan to gain buy-in. Define the users around the business goals and include metrics.
3. Design the game around your strategy. This design should encompass an engagement map, measurement, and room for adjustments.
4. Identify tools. Is your program a hybrid, or will you outsource with an external tool or company? Reach out to colleagues and consult an expert for provider referrals to ensure you select the right tool to meet your corporate strategy.
5. Rinse, Recycle, Repeat. Measure your results, compare them to your strategy, make necessary changes and reimplement.
Engaging employees through a gamification strategy will result in positively achieving the company’s bottom line.